tv The Last Word MSNBC September 28, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT
>> what held her back before is too hard to resist. of a she and mccain played leader in the republican party, who is there now to tell her now. that does it for us. the last word with lawrence o'donnell. he interviews vice president biden. hi. >> good to be here for the first show. >> we're all pulling for you. >> i could not have a better lead-in. >> break a leg. >> thanks, rachel. 223 years ago tomorrow, congress sent the constitution to the states for ratification. delaware was the first to ratify and became the first state. since then delaware has stayed politely quiet exerting minimal influence on our politics until the first delawarean was elected in 2008 there by opening a senate seat seriously pursued by a former self-described witch turned true believer on tax cuts.
delaware's own joe biden will join me to discuss many things, how democrats can counter republican tax cut rhetoric, tea party extremism and hold onto power in the house and senate. all but certain congress will leave without resolving one of the biggest fights of the fall, whether to extend the bush tack cuts. >> the democratic house and senate in a state of paralysis afraid to vote for tax cuts, afraid to not vote for tax cuts. >> we're going to get it done before the end of the year. >> in the words of one nbc news source, it would take an alien invasion to keep congress in session. >> you have to know democrats are very nerve out about elections coming up quick. >> democrats backed into a tax corner with the countdown to elections. >> incumbents are fighting for their political lives.
>> democrats have no choice but to defend success in the face of republican obstruction. >> what i'm seeing out of the republican leadership over the last several years has been a set of policies that are just >> that's why we cut tax credits eight times. >> we want to extend tax credits up to people up to $250,000 of income. that would cover 98% of the american people. they say, no, we won't do that. >> no. the problem is you all are refusing to support an extension of the middle class tax cuts and holding those hostage. >> democrats now heading home to 35 days of campaigning to save the house and senate. >> we have to show up and make our case and focus on the differences not personalities. >> good evening from new york. i'm lawrence o'donnell. my first guest of the night, distinguished gentleman from delaware, vice president joe
biden. we taped our interview earlier tonight. mr. vice president, thanks for joining us tonight. >> i'm happy to be with you. >> at the u.n. last week, president obama asked the israelis to extend the freeze on west bank construction but they allowed the freeze to expire at midnight last night. the west bank settlers today have been celebrating, some refusing to build. should netanyahu extend the freeze on the build and if he doesn't are the peace talks doomed? >> i don't think the peace talks are doomed. it's a politically difficult situation where both mr. abbas as well as prime minister netanyahu. the good news is the talks have not ended. you have abbas saying -- president abbas saying he would take under consideration what the next move would be. you have netanyahu saying he wants to continue the talks.
george mechel is headed to the region as i speak. we still hope there will be a way to bridge this divide to keep the talks going. >> as we all know bob woodward has a hot "inside the white house" book. i want to go back to the first, "the promise." in that book you tell the president not to do health care in the first two years. you urged him instead to concentrate on the economy and jobs. if the president had followed your advice you were giving him at that time, what would the unemployment numbers look like now and where would the democrats be in the congressional campaign? >> look, lawrence, i'm not going to confirm anything i've said to the president privately. because it is that. hopefully he listens to it because i give it to him, that's why i didn't do it on the air. the president did something nobody has been able to do since teddy roosevelt, deliver a health care change, which is now beginning to roll out.
one of the positive things about the health care of the president, it is going to drive down the long-term debt by $110 billion in the next five years and a trillion after that, the following 10. i think the president deserves remarkable credit for such a monumental peace of legislation. >> as everyone knows the economy is always the most important factor in national elections. unemployment today is running almost 50% higher than in 1994 when the democrats last lost control of both the house and the senate. is that what you meant when you said today if we make this referendum on the current state of affairs we lose? >> yes, because, look, people are angry. people are upset. people are like the kitchen table i grew up around. when there was a recession and unemployment, the people sitting around that table, the adults, the adults, my dad, they were afraid they were going to lose their job. they were angry. they have a right to be angry. they are focusing on us.
if it's a referendum of the state of the nation we're in trouble but it's a choice. all elections are a choice. the choice between what the republicans are offering as pete sessions, congressman, a good guy, smart guy said, when asked if republicans took control of the house, what would they do, he said, we'd go back to the same exact agenda. we have to make it clear what we've done and what we're offering to do, planning to do from here and what they have done to get us in this mess and what they are offering. that is not a choice -- that's not a referendum, that's a choice. if we do that, we're going to be just fine. >> mr. vice president, the democrat's tax position is to allow the current tax rates, bush tax rates, to stay in place for everyone except the top brackets. if that's a winning political position, why shouldn't the democrats in the house and the senate vote on it now before the election.
>> look, i'm not sitting in the senate any longer doing it day to day. the leader of the house and leader of the senate have made their own judgments about everything from filibusters to tactical moon ufrs the other side would take. the important thing is we accomplish what we're setting out to do, give middle class taxpayers a tax break. by the way, everyone would get the tax break, the same they got up to $250,000. $700 billion the republicans want to spend continuing the tax breaks for the very wealthy, $360 billion of that goes to 120,000 families that have an average income of $8.3 million. they are good people. but what are they going to do with $310,000 tax break they can't do with the $8 million they have.
whereas the tax break for a family of four making $50,000 is $2100. a family of four making $100,000 is $4100. that's the difference between making your car payment, your car insurance, keeping your kid in college, being able to pay your bills. what we want to do is we want to give middle class taxpayers the money to be able to go out and do the things they need to do, generate economic growth in this economy. we want to take the $700 million and pay down the debt. and our republican friends, i find them kind of fascinating. they keep lecturing us about the debt they created, now they are talking about wanting to extend a tax cut that cost $700 million for the wealthiest among us and they keep paying for it. >> the republicans seem to have their own sarah palin in christine o'donnell. you're the only democrat alive that's beaten both of them in elections. what do you have to teach democrats about how to stop the palin -- no relation on o'donnell, palin-o'donnell
phenomenon. >> take them seriously. treat them with respect. debate their ideas. don't get diverted by silly things they may or may not have said that have nothing to do with policy. what we should be doing, the democrats, is focusing on what they are offering and those who agree with them, and what they are against and compare it to what we are for and what we're against. the truth of the matter is, when we do that, we'll do just fine. but lawrence, actually, i really think that the win in delaware, and i'm sorry to see a really first rate guy lose, although he would be a much tougher candidate, i suspect, the fact of the matter is it's a wakeup call, not just for republicans but for democrats. there's a lot of democrats who might have been thinking about doing exactly what a lot of republicans did. not show up and vote in the
primary. this is a wakeup call to democrats. we have to show up and we have to make our case and focus on the differences, not their personalities. >> you sent out a fund-raising e-mail today saying, quote, republicans running now are not your grandfather's republican party. they are from the republican tea party. now, is there a risk in an e-mail like that, that it could stimulate more tea party energy than anti-tea party energy? >> look, a lot of the tea party folks are just normal -- they are all normal americans. but they are americans who are just angry and fed up. others are ideologically, from associate security, wanting to privatize it and other things. the fact of the matter is, what i really said was this is not even your father's republican party. these folks don't want to talk. these folks don't want to enter into a compromise.
these folks don't want to come up with practical solutions. i know what they are against. what i don't know is what they are for. why are they against us trying to stimulate jobs by giving tax cuts to the middle class? why are they against us stimulating jobs by giving tax breaks to small businesses, which, in fact, are the ones that create the jobs? why don't they think it's important to develop alternative energy and all the jobs that would flow from those green jobs and encourage manufacturing to stay here in the united states? why is it they don't even support the president's proposal to continue to increase our investment in infrastructure, which would be necessary if we had full employment. i know what they are against. they are against all those things. i just don't know what they are for. >> today you said that the base, your base in the democratic party should, quote, stop whining. i'm going to give you an opportunity you used to have in
the senate, mr. vice president, would you like to revise and extend your remarks on that one? >> yes. what i mean, there's some on the democratic base, not the core of it, that are angry because we didn't get every single thing they want. we've got a health care bill every day becomes more apparent how much it does for people in terms of businesses and cost and availability. because there was no public option, some of them are so angry they say we're not going to participate. they should stop that. these guys, if they win the other team, they should appeal health care. i want them to tell me why what we did wasn't an incredibly significant move that's progressive and helping people. the same way with a lot of other issues. it's time to focus. this is a choice. the president has done a remarkable job given the fact that you and i and a mutual friend, pat moynihan, when you were running his show and i was his colleague, a majority in the senate used to mean 51 votes. since we've gotten elected,
barack obama and joe biden, there's a new majority in the senate, 60 votes. what the president has been able to do has been truly remarkable with the help of a democratic congress. and so those who don't -- didn't get everything they wanted, it's time to just buck up here, understand that we can make things better, continue to move forward, but not yield the playing field to those folks who are against everything that we stand for in terms of the initiatives we put forward. >> you know, i didn't think of myself as running pat moynihan's show, liz moynihan ran pat moynihan's show as you can remember. >> that's true. if she's listening, i send her my love and also their lovely daughter -- they are a great family. >> vice president joe biden with
us on our premier of "the last word." we'll bring you more of my exclusive interview with the vice president at this hour including his reaction to the new bob woodward book "obama's wars." first i'm joined by keith olbermann and author of "pitchforks and torches." what do you make of his explanation of his "stop whining" comment he made earlier today. he's changed it to buck up. >> i had a long conversation with the vice president when he was still running for president i guess in early '07. we were talking about how to -- when to utilize anger on television or in the senate or in the platform somewhere. the basic and only advice i could give a professional public speaker was, think about the anger, use the earning on behalf of your constituents and not towards them. my impression from this was it was a little of the anger towards them being expressed. that's never a good thing. it's sort of -- the democratic, liberal bases have been somewhat
responsible for the disconnect with the white house. but the white house has been responsible for it and it's little things like that that tell the tale. >> you don't get the feeling he and his staff are quite aware of what they have created online in terms of objections flowing. >> no. but it's a guess whether they have the right end of the telescope in their eyes when this happens. what you want to hear the vice president with his gift for getting angry and righteously angry is to say, on your behalf we're going to go out there and stop these people. it's like don't just sit there and whine and complain about it, join us as we go out and get them. then he gets to say both what he feels, which is kind of buck up, get in line, join the team again and also say this is the reason for it. we're going to be a little less tremulous. >> thanks for hanging around. we'll continue our conversation after the break.
also ahead, "saturday night live" is ahead and jumping right into the midterm elections. the season premier turns its sights on christine, no relation, o'donnell. ♪ [ male announcer ] you're at the age where you don't get thrown by curve balls. ♪ this is the age of knowing how to get things done. ♪ so why would you let something like erectile dysfunction get in your way? isn't it time you talked to your doctor about viagra? 20 million men already have. ♪ with every age comes responsibility.
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last week senate majority leader harry reid postponed the discussion of tax cut extensions until after the election. nancy pelosi praised the testimony of stephen colbert, steny hoyer hated it. which side is joe biden on? more from my interview with the vice president. o has been saving people money on rv, camper and trailer insurance... ...as well as motorcycle insurance... gecko: oh...sorry, technical difficulties. boss: uh...what about this? gecko: what's this one do? gecko: um...maybe that one. ♪ dance music boss: ok, let's keep rolling. we're on motorcycle insurance. vo: take fifteen minutes to see how much you can save on motorcycle, rv, and camper insurance.
discussion of tax cut extensions until after the election. speaker nancy pelosi has yet to announce if the house will tackle the issue before congress adjourns friday. if they squeezed in a vote before the last session it would be symbolic because there's no chance of taking up the bill before the election. vice president biden just told us he respects the judgment on the legislative strategy of the tax cuts. continuing with me now is keith olbermann. keith, i know too much. i've strategized tax bills in the senate when i was working the senate finance committee, i've seen both sides of this argument, i've been through it. i don't know. is the vice president right? you just have to let the people who run the playing field make the strategic decision in the congress? >> but what is this decision? is this decision designed to encourage voters in a particular state things will work out the way they want it, even though there's not going to be a vote? is this about harry reid in
nevada? is that the idea behind it? because obviously the work of miss angle there has put mr. reid back into the race when he didn't have a chance when he was facing the chicken lady. he can win that and go back to his seat if he doesn't make a major mistake. what my worry is this decision has been made to protect a couple of senators with the expectation, don't worry, the polling shows voters understand we're with them on this issue even though we do not presently have the guts to even try it in the fashion that nancy pelosi is going w on the other hand, if the house is willing to go and try this thing, especially with suspension and go for the three-quarters vote, there is something at least symbolic, there is a willingness to show off the new automobile and see if you can actually drive it around the block or if it's made out of wood. >> at least the house members would have a vote. this is my position i voted on. >> democrats who were seeking
seats held by republican members could say they voted against this. this is what they would mean to you. that's $300 you do not have because of this guy. get them out. the assumption here, we've gotten so technical, as you point out, you know too much. years ago at the academy awards of all places, i asked kevin costner about doing this seven-hour pregame show as they were talking about for the super bowls. he said we know too much what we know about. he came down after this yogi berra quote. he said would you take that off, i don't want to sound like yogi. not just you, the speaker, steny hoyer, everybody watching knows too much about the political strategy to base a decision about what's right, what's wrong, what's going to get across to the nation, what is the correct point of view for the country. what separates a serious
democratic party that has done incremental good in the last year and a half from a bunch of people who haven't been outside their own homes before who are running as this republican tea party. the thing that separates them is some courage, which clearly whether it's courage or stupidity, the tea party has that in large doses. they will go out and do anything, say anything, posit anything. we see a defensive game played all the time by the democrats. there has to be a larger issue than individual mechanics of each race, there has to be a spiritual thing, if you forgive the use of the term, about the party, left, right, center has to get enthusiastic about something. it all dove tails back to your conversation with the president. the whining would stop if the voting increased, i think. >> the senators that i've talked to who were in the caucus room when this decision was made in the senate all tell me this was made by the senators running for re-election by and for them. everyone else deferred to them. that's kind of traditionally the way things work in the senate.
harry reid is one of them. defensive is the word, keith. you mentioned it. democrats in the senate are always defensive on taxes. if they can avoid a tax debate with republicans in an election season, they will do that. as i understand it, they made this decision on the basis of what the senators running for re-election wanted to do. >> i do defer to their professional expertise as i defer to yours on this particular topic, it seems you have to take a little bit of a risk. otherwise, what's the point? i may agree if i'm in nevada, i may agree with harry reid's point of view, agree with him he should play it politically close to the vest, on the other hand i might say, you don't have the courage. i'll take six years of this idiot and come back to you later. >> this is why i say i don't know. in the beltway dictates one thing. what's happening with this wildfire with the tea party there's something loose in the voting population we don't understand.
it's a very tough call to say which way to go on this one. keith olbermann, thank you very much for joining me. the book is "pitch forks and torches" available for reorder. countdown in its new air time, 11:00 p.m. eastern immediately following "the last word." thank you for starting me on this show. >> you're welcome. nancy pelosi and steny hoyer on the opposite side over the recent appear ons of stephen colbert. i'll ask the vice president to settle the dispute. he'll also give his first public reaction to bob woodward's insider look at the obama white house. . i didn't realize i was drifting into the other lane. [ kim ] i was literally falling asleep at the wheel. it got my attention, telling me that i wasn't paying attention. i had no idea the guy in front of me had stopped short. but my car did.
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interview with vice president biden ahead on "the last word," including the first comments on bob woodward's book "obama's wars" which takes us behind the scenes as the president maps the fight in afghanistan. stephen colbert, the vice president weighs in and the dispute is the subject of tonight's rewrite. tonight we'll have a full premier week for you. tomorrow night, we'll be joined by levi johnston and former governor crist. wednesday, talk with axelrod and author bob woodward. thursday, megan mccain and morks mayor michael b back in our spotlight.
in bob woodward's new book, "obama's wars," you argued against the troop increase the president went with, argued for a different strategy than what the president settled on. what would the situation look like today if we had gone with the obama strategy -- the biden strategy. >> look, barack obama is president of the united states. i told him i would give him my unvarnished opinion and back it up with the facts as i saw them.
the president had the most thorough going review. american people should read bob woodward's book. at the end of the book you'll see a president who is a leader, approached problems in an analytical way and made sound decisions everyone signed onto including joe biden. and the strategy the president put in place i think is the best strategy that we have in play -- we have it in place now. we should pursue it. lawrence, it's only this august, the end of august, that all the troops have been in place and the civilian peace and now we're in the process of implementing it. there's been a lot of positive things that happened so far. we've made great strides against al qaeda, cut into the leadership of the taliban, training afghan security forces which is very difficult. there's a lot of difficult problems ahead. i think the president came up with a strategy that is the best strategy for victory.
remember why we're there. we're there to defeat, degrade and defeat al qaeda and sustain the afghan government while they build up their physical capacity to resist the insurgencies that exist and they can operate under their constitution. that's the reason we're there and the president came up, i think, with the best plan to do that. >> have you spoken to richard holbrooke since the book came out? >> i haven't. but i know a widely published partial quote from bob's book about what i said about dick holbrooke. look, it might shock you that in a discussion they might take about dick's ego like they might talk about me, too. he should have the job. this one of the most talented diplomats we've had in 30 years. he's been my friend for 35 years. i think he's the right guy for the job.
richard knows that. >> just for the audience's sake you said he was egotistical. most would agree it's an accurate adjective to use. >> most would agree with the second part of my sentence, he's the right man for the job, one of the most talented diplomats we've had in a generation. >> i want to read a sentence the president is quoted by bob woodward as saying. we can absorb a terrorist attack. we'll do everything we can to prevent it. even 9/11, the biggest attack that ever took place on our soil. we absorbed it and we are stronger. how did 9/11 make us stronger? >> it made us stronger by demonstrating to the entire world there is nothing, nothing, nothing that can shake our
conviction of everyone under the constitution has equal rights. we have not gone underground. we have not turned to repressive measures. we are the same open, strong, vibrant society that the rest of the world wants to emulate. so that's the reason they took the shot at us. they took the shot at us to try to prove to the world that we weren't who we advertised ourselves to be and we are. the rest of the world has looked at that. they looked at the election of barack obama and seen that the american people mean what they say. we do think all people are created equal. the rest of the world, and the islamic world is figuring out, we have mosques in los angeles bigger than mosques in most countries in the arab world. we are a society that reaches out, embraces people and is stronger because of it. that's what i think the president meant by saying we were stronger for it. they tried to deal us a body below. it was horrible for the 3,000 people that lost loved ones. my heart goes out to them. the fact of the matter is, in terms of our national stability, our economic power and strength,
our military capacity, it was a glancing blow. mr. vice president, hamid karzai is presented in the book as being a diagnosed manic depressive. general petraeus refers to him in one meeting as running basically a criminal syndicate in his government. ambassador eikenberry is quoted as telling you he's off his meds. how can we have a successful exit strategy as the obama plan calls for in july 2011 if the strategy involves leaving afghanistan to the whims of hamid karzai? >> hamid karzai has long since then decided that his interest and the interest of his country lie in cooperating with us and sort of righting his ship. the fact of the matter is whether it's corruption or training of afghan security forces or integration of and
reconciliation with the taliban, president karzai is in a position now that faced with an incredibly difficult circumstance, i believe he's fully capable of stepping up to the plate and acting responsibly. it's a very difficult position he's in. but he must step up to the plate. we must train an afghan national security force, and he must take ownership of it. he must deal with the most virulent types of corruption, those types that, in fact, cause populations, villages, provinces to turn to the taliban for justice instead of corrupt officials, and he must deal with the larger pieces of corruption
that exists within his society. and some of it is changes we have to make. we're making changes in contracting authority. general petraeus set forward billions of dollars rolling in that country, in a country that was the fourth poorest in the world and one that didn't have much infrastructure. we're making changes as well to make it easier to deal with that problem. hamid karzai must step up to the ball. i think he's capable of it. if he doesn't, his country will fail. if he does, it can succeed. finally to the controversy that divided the democratic leadership in the house last week, the only thing that maybe could divide them, your friend stephen colbert. you and i are what he calls, what stephen colbert calls friends of the show. you did stephen colbert's show recently. stephen colbert invited to testify before an house immigration subsometime. he did that. nancy pelosi supported it. she thought it was great. steny hoyer said he thought it was an embarrassment. so, mr. vice president, who is right, pelosi or hoyer? you have to pick one.
>> 36 years in the united states senate and i never got in the middle of a house fight among house members. i'm not going to do it now. look, one of the things that's going on is this march on washington that stephen colbert and jon stewart are putting together. it is all done with an overwhelming dose of humor and sarcasm. it is, i think, going to -- it's designed to make, quite frankly, a mockery of the position, extreme position of the other side. i'll let the house decide its own rules. i'll pretend i'm still a senator. it's against senate rules to comment on the conduct of events in the house. >> you're off the hook, mr. vice president. mr. vice president, thank you very much for making the time for us tonight. >> thank you. i wish you luck on the show and i hope you'll have me back. thank you. coming up, more on the colbert capitol hill controversy.
steny hoyer didn't like colbert's testimony. but what are the chances he actually watched it? steny hoyer's review of colbert needs a rewrite. what had happened in central harlem was failure became the norm. the schools were lousy... the healthcare was lousy... gangs were prevalent. violence was all over. families were falling apart. you can't raise children in a community like that. people had been talking about things, but not doing anything.
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the number two democrat in the house wasn't too happy about stephen colbert's testimony on capitol hill but just because majority leader steny hoyer couldn't look past the jokes doesn't mean colbert didn't make a valid point. "saturday night live" started its season with a lot to choose from. we'll talk to the writer of the show's opening sketch about christine -- no relation -- o'donnell. 0 to 60? or 60 to 0? [ tires screech ] the quarter-mile, or a quarter-century? is performance about the joy of driving? or the importance... of surviving? to us, performance is not about doing one thing well. it is about doing everything well. because in the end... everything matters.
tonight's rei didn't, the house judiciary subcommit on immigration, citizenship, refugees and border security and international law lives in obscurity attracting cameras to its hearings virtually impossible. even c-span's cameras are too busy covering much more important committees until stephen colbert was called to testify on friday with united farm workers president arturo rodriguez, founder of takeourjobs dokz whose purpose he described on the colbert report in july. >> it's inviting american
citizens that want to work in the fields, they want to take those jobs, want to do agriculture work to do it. we put up a website, takeourjobs.org and inviting citizens throughout the united states to come if they believe workers are taking away their jobs. >> with 15 million unemployed americans desperately seeking work. >> how many people of everyone in america have taken you up on this. >> only three right now are actually working in the fields. >> three people. >> make that four. i'll do it. >> on friday, colbert testified about his experience in the fields. >> after working with these men and women, picking beans, packing corn, for hours on end side by side in the unforgiving sun, i have to say, and i do mean this sincerely, please
don't make me do this again. it is really, really hard. for one thing when you're picking beans, you have to spend all day bending over. it turns out, and i did not know this, most soil is at ground level. if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we make the earth waist high. come on, where is the funding. >> colbert continued with his testimony in character, which though defended by nancy pelosi, who called it simply great, it provoked negative reactions from republicans and some democrats. >> i think his testimony was not appropriate. now, i think it was an embarrassment for mr. colbert more than the house. >> he was called by the democratic chair of the subcommittee. >> you asked me, chris, whether the testimony was appropriate. i think it was not appropriate. >> and he should not have been called? >> i don't know about whether he was called.
what he had to say was not the way it should have been said. if he had a position on the issues, he should have given those issues. you asked my personal opinion. >> you regret it. >> i think it was inappropriate. >> had house majority leader steny hoyer watched all of stephen colbert's testimony, he would have seen history being made in colbert's unscripted answer to a question when he broke character publicly for the first time. >> i like talking about people who don't have any power. and this seems like one of the least powerful people in the united states are migrant workers who come and do our work but don't have any rights as a result. and yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. that's an interesting contradiction to me. and you know, whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, and these seem like the least of our brothers right now. a lot of people are least brothers right now because the economy is so hard. i don't want to take anyone's hardship away from them or diminish them or anything like that. but migrant workers suffer and
have no rights. >> if congressman hoyer had seen that part of stephen colbert's testimony, then he should have issued a statement something like this -- i want to commend stephen colbert for his moving description of the plight of migrant workers in this country. all too often these hardworking people are overlooked, even though we all enjoy the fruits of their labor. to have someone of mr. colbert's stature and influence speak out on behalf of blah, blah, blah, blah. if congressman hoyer can find a more eloquent statement on the condition of migrant workers in the transcripts of any of that subcommittee's hearings, i will read those statements in their entirety on this show. no matter how her senate campaign turns out sat night
live has immortalized christine o'donnell. looks like snl might be finding more skeletons in her closet. on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro.
"saturday night live" season premier took us inside witch turned senate candidate christine o'donnell's meeting with the republican national committee to discuss how they could support her candidacy in delaware. as with all candidates the political professionals wanted to discuss some of the controversial things that had emerged in her background, which in her case include an attraction to witch craft and aversion to masturbation. >> when i started that campaign and i'll be totally honest here, i, frankly, did not understand what masturbation was. >> okay. >> uh-huh. >> it turns out i was confusing it with something else.
>> i see. >> and as soon as i understood that, i totally reversed my policy on masturbation. okay? yeah? bet you didn't hear that in the media, right? >> nope. >> i did not. >> i will have you know, i masturbate constantly. >> really? >> i masturbated this morning when i woke up. again in the shower. then while eating breakfast and in the taxi on the way over here. >> christine, you don't need to >> let me tell you something else, in a few minutes, i'm going to want to masturbate again. >> okay, then we'll try to keep this meeting short. >> over the last two weeks, delaware voters have learned from clips supplied by bill maher that candidate o'donnell also believes's evolution is a myth and scientists are creating mice with human brains. "saturday night live's" version of this had to ask christine, is there anything else we need to know?
>> you know, while i was masturbating, i remembered something else. >> really? >> i don't know. it's probably nothing. >> go ahead. >> in college, i burned somebody's house down. >> arson? >> yes, but not for money. for revenge. >> finally christine had to fly back to delaware to catch up with the democratic candidate. >> thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. >> okay. it's my pleasure. good seeing you guys. >> good luck. >> thanks. >> here now the writer of that opening sketch for the season premier, 33 years "saturday night live" veteran, senior statesman of snl, jim, thanks for being here. you understand you gave up a lot of your time to joe biden, so we only have a few minutes here. >> yeah, i know.
>> i imagine when something like this story comes along, you are mandated to write it. you have no choice. there's nothing else you could have done in the political spot than this candidacy. >> didn't seem that way to me. this is the big story. but i'm happy to hear you think people knew about it. >> does that make it worse when there's this really obvious big and really funny, the real life version is really funny. isn't there a real challenge. everyone is expecting it. it somehow has to be funnier than the real christine o'donnell. >> especially if i don't have that much time. in this case i did have days and days and days to think. >> now, you could have given the part to amy poehler, i'm guessing you gave it to a regular cast member because you guys are all hoping christine o'donnell wins and this character stays in the show. >> i like taking care of people who are going to be around. i've done enough for amy over the years, god love her.
>> what do you have coming up this week in week two? by the way, it wasn't the only controversy in the show. you had katy perry in the show. >> she's not controversial to me. >> banned from pbs but not the show. >> we love katy perry. >> doing a little mocking of her banning. >> i thought she was really good. i've never seen her do anything but her music. >> what have you got coming up this week? >> bob cranston and bruno mars. >> are you already thinking about the political stuff this week. >> i'm hoping when i get home, someone will say something weird. >> study that biden transcript. i don't think there's anything in there for you. i'm sorry. i did my best. i did everything i could do for you. >> i accept. >> jim downey, writer for "saturday night live," thanks very much for joining us tonight. you can have the last word online at our blog, the last firstname.lastname@example.org. tomorrow night, two candidates, governor charlie crist running for senate in fl